In 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes pattern for the national Flag. This would follow almost one year after the Declaration of Independence and more than a decade before the U. S. Constitution was finalized. Flag Day was first celebrated in 1877, the centennial of the U. S. Flag’s existence. After that, many citizens and organizations advocated the adoption of a national day of commemoration for the U. S. Flag. It was not until 1949, that President Harry Truman signed legislation making Flag Day a day of national observance. The American Flag Foundation, Inc. (formerly the National Flag Day Foundation, Inc.) was chartered in December 1982 as a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization. Its vision is “to be the source for inspiring patriotism and encouraging honor for the American Flag.”
The Foundation’s specific mission is “to create and distribute educational materials, and facilitate or conduct events in communities across the United States that inspire patriotism and encourage honor for the American Flag.” The Foundation further desires, through patriotic educational programs and public awareness campaigns, to encourage all Americans to observe National Flag Day (63 Stat. 492) and participate in the annual National PAUSE FOR THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE (99 Stat. 97) and provide a stage upon which all Americans repeat the thirty-one words that honor America, to show the world that we truly are a united people.
Special Note: Maryland’s Senator Ben Cardin requests and leads the U. S. Senate in the Pledge of Allegiance every June 14th, Flag Day.